NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Shevelle Fontenette, LaRicha Roussell-Alfred and Gloria Brown share a pain and a void that’s difficult for most to comprehend. All of their sons were murdered in New Orleans. Now, all they have left is the memories of who their children were.
“Ja’Mere was a very energetic kid, he loved football, loved food, loved band, he played the snare drum,” said Roussell-Alfred.
“He was exceptionally bright, he wanted to be a aerospace engineer and his little side thing was the movies, to create and be a movie director,” said Brown of her son, Shane.
“He was a very outgoing, loving, compassionate, I want to say peaceful, peaceful child.” said Fontenette of her son Haushon.
The journey of grief has been a difficult one for these three women. Everyday is a challenge and the hardest part about each loss is different for each mother.
“The depth of knowing he was my only child, and that I’ll never be a grandmother, I’ll never see him live the dreams that he had dreamt,” said Brown.
“The hardest part is me living without him. I have to live the rest of my life without him,” said Fontenette.
“I have to push everyday for awareness and also to get myself together, up out of the bed, not fall into depression,” said Roussell-Alfred.
Since the death of their sons, just 20, 19, and 14 years old, these mothers have found new purpose in life: to advocate for peace and find solutions to gun violence in New Orleans.
“Let’s get into the community and let’s see how we can reach these younger kids. We have to reach the parents, we need to reach the entire family,” said Fontenette.
Following the death of their sons, new meaning was birthed into the lives of these women.
They miss their children everyday, and when we asked what they wanted to say to their sons, this is what they said…
“I talk to Ja’Mere everyday, everyday and I always tell him: be great in heaven.” said Roussell-Alfred.
“You were my gift, and I appreciate God lending you to me for 20 years, and now he has you back in his embrace,” said Brown.
“I wish I could tell him so much, my life is different without you son. I think you made me a better person,” said Fontenette.